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Vettel 'pushing very hard' for 2012

ESPNF1 Staff
December 12, 2011 « Buemi 'very confident' of Toro Rosso future | Good to prove pay-driver critics wrong - Perez »
Sebastian Vettel only retired from one race this season, having failed to finish four times in 2010 © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel said that Red Bull is "pushing very hard" with the 2012 car and says he would prefer a fast car rather than a reliable one.

Vettel won the title with four races to spare this season after impressive reliability that allowed him to finish every race in the top four until that point. Although the final two rounds saw a puncture and gearbox problem hamper his races, a mechanical failure never caused him to retire. Having enjoyed such a run, Vettel admitted that he had been savouring the season as it was not certain to be repeated, but said that the focus was now on next year.

"I think it has been phenomenal," Vettel said. "I think it will be a season that we will look back to and always be very happy to look back and be very proud of. These kinds of seasons don't come across you every year; I think we need to realise that. We focus already for next season, Adrian [Newey] and the guys are pushing very hard to get the car ready for next year and we move on."

After winning six of the first eight races in 2011 Vettel had a commanding lead in the standings, and while acknowledging that this year had been "nearly faultless" he said that he would rather the focus for the new car was on speed rather than reliability.

"You have to mention that this year was pretty smooth and nearly faultless. We had no issues with reliability except Brazil but we still managed to finish the race in second place. Other than that nothing went wrong from a car point of view. The retirements we had I think were Mark's crash in Monza and the puncture I suffered in Abu Dhabi, but car-wise and engine-wise everything was better than expected. Everything is built on the limit so you're pushing in every area and sometimes here and there things might break but this year everything was working fine. Surely the target is to keep that up.

"Next year the cars will be slightly different, not a revolution but the regulations changed a little bit again so we have to adapt. At the moment we are pushing very hard as I said - Adrian and the guys to finalise the car - and obviously then at the beginning of next year we try to put it together and put it on the track and see how it works. Hopefully it will be quite reliable from the start. The most important thing I think is that the car is fast; I think it's easier to make a fast car reliable than a reliable car fast."